Bless, Paul Little actually gets something right

Paul Little is the classic Ponsonby arts luvvie, sanctimoniously opining and hectoring that he and his pals know best.

It isn’t often that I agree with him, but today is a red-letter day… I actually do agree with him.

At least the kids mucking around doing BAs aren’t suffering from the delusion that their piece of paper will be an entree into any sort of occupation, unlike those at the many private degree mills earning qualifications for jobs that aren’t there.

There are so many of the latter that Andrew Little’s suggestion of a return to free tertiary education for all and at any age looks foolhardy.  

If he means free tertiary education in areas such as journalism, film and TV-making and all those other disciplines which thousands of students are currently studying with no prospect of ever finding employment in them, then this is a very a bad idea indeed. It’s simply cruel to take children’s money to, effectively, pay for something they will never be able to own.

In that he is dead right. There are literally thousands of students studying to be journalists…and there are so few jobs for them that it is laughable that so many are accepted into the courses.

That said it has been a boon for the PR and marketing industry having so many disillusioned and impressionable young minds trained to think like journalists….it makes getting your native advertising or shilled story published so much easier.


– NZ Herald


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  • cassandra

    Media studies/journalism, international relations, sports management/science, anything with sustainability in the title, good old architectiture, these are all courses to draw in the idealistic young and then set them on the street three or even four years later with a nice debt and great prospects in the food services industry (waiting/dishwashing)

  • LesleyNZ

    Yes agree. Well said Paul Little (for once)If you are good at Maths and Science do a Bachelor of Science degree. Job prospects are there depending upon which field you are interested in after you have completed your Bachelor of Science. My daughter chose audiology, some of her friends went into medicine, others are working in private science labs or in the hospitals. Another worthwhile degree is a Bachelor of Business Studies (and even better with an accounting degree). I do wonder if some who choose the BA’s with no job prospect are there because they just enjoy the Uni lifestyle – but these days it comes at a cost in the end. Just had a sudden thought – are Andrew Little and Paul Little related?

    • Wolfman Jack

      a little bit

  • Crowgirl

    It won’t be long until the MSM stop paying for stories and basically start advertising for free content so that aspiring journalists can get ‘exposure’ like so many other industries these days. In fact I believe this is already happening.

    I have suggested elsewhere that the Future of Work commission should work on properly identifying which industries are most under threat from automation, and then encourage study in these areas through subsidizing education costs, rather than giving away 3 years of ‘free’ study to just anyone. I don’t think NZ needs any more BAs in English Lit or Gender Studies. I quite like the idea that some industries with chronic staffing shortages might end up with lots of graduates for a change, rather than more journalists, graphic designers etc being added to the glut.

    • Orca

      There was an article in the MSM this week about which professions were most likely to be replaced by robots. They failed to mention that their own profession already has been.

    • Uncle Bully

      “It won’t be long until the MSM stop paying for stories and basically start advertising for free content so that aspiring journalists can get ‘exposure’…”

      Isn’t that how the Huffington Post operates? I’m sure it’s not the only one that has this business model either.

      • Crowgirl

        Yes the HuffPo is guilty of this.

  • Orca

    “…..trained to think like journalists…..” Surely that is an oxymoron?

  • Sagacious Blonde

    Student loans have been the ultimate trough for average academics and mediocre academies.
    Bob Jones had their measure back in 2004 in his Degrees for Everyone – hilarious, if not rather sad reading.

  • Keanne Lawrence

    Some are catching on to the fact that cheap student loans are producing not only a soring debt burden where recipients are holding out for it to be wiped but it gives many a ride on a revolving door type of lifestyle. Too lazy to take a menial job or even possibly a trade they start chasing the rainbow and draw down heaps to get a BA in Bugger All ending up where they started. The openings for an honours student in Dances of the Middle ages are limited so they have no alternative but to take what they can get. Subject to them actually being prepared to work.